Casino legislation remains deeply unpopular

Among Japanese lawmakers, dominated by conservative political parties, there is strong support for passage of the IR Implementation Bill in the current Diet session, but the latest poll by the Kyodo News agency shows that the legalization of casino gambling remains deeply unpopular with the public at large.

In a poll focusing broadly on the Abe government’s policy agenda, Kyodo News found casino opponents still outnumber proponents by well over a 2-to-1 margin—65.1% against versus 26.6 percent in favor.

These results are in line with almost all polling of the Japanese public going back several years, with the national numbers having hardly moved.

Only two recent polls have shown significantly different results.

First, a January poll conducted by the Nagasaki Shimbun found a plurality of the local public in favor of building an IR at the Huis Ten Bosch location, presumably due to expectations of a positive effect on the depressed local economy.

Second, a poll published in February by the Nippon Research Center on behalf of Las Vegas Sands found that a majority of those surveyed would like to see a facility like that of Marina Bay Sands in Japan, once they were given extensive, upbeat information about the Singapore IR.